Artist Spotlight: Abie Elle

Abie Elle (@abieelle) talks about her music and fashion inspiration, working in the studio with @Squizzleital and gives some words of wisdom to other upcoming artists.

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This week saw the launch of Abie Elle’s latest project: the ‘Released’ EP. The London based singer held a launch party at The Light House in Shoreditch on Sunday when the EP went live, hosting everyone involved in the project, including vocal coach Teish O’Day, main producer of the EP Squizzle Ital and of course her fans, to come together to see the culmination of her hard work.

Abie took to the stage with her backing singer @myagold and live band with guitarist @produceromari, drummer @Liambridgen and keys player @jonnyeoman to play through the tracks on the EP. Opening her set with an expressive and moving performance of ‘Have you met Grace?’ she showed from the very beginning her ability to express herself through her vocals and display herself as an artist who is able to amalgamate emotion, musical ability and audience interaction into a smooth performance. The band, with a concise but fluid and in sync sound, brought the music to a new height as she gave style and attitude performing ‘Watch your Back’ and had fun with involving the singing crowd in the story behind ‘Unruly’. She ended her performance with the Higher Levelz (@hl_music) remix of her previously released track, Hometown, which brought together her alt-soul melody with his reggae vibe mix.

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I caught up with Abie after her amazing showcase to learn more about her and what went into the project:

‘I was born in east London, went to school there,  and have lived  there all my life. Singing  and songwriting are  big part of my soul and I could not imagine my life without them.  I have  sung  for as long as I can remember. I  once saw a video of myself singing  at the  age of 4. To be honest, the song sounded made up and I was singing it to  my baby cousin. There were some real words, and some made up words but none the less it was a song with  some sort of  melody. I always sang and wanted to be an artist but didn’t always believe that I could. I did the odd school choir performance and some solo performances at school,  sixth form and  other events.  Although, I never stopped  singing  to myself, family and friends there  were times when I stopped singing at shows and  pursuing  a music career. Maybe it was because I was led to believe that it wasn’t realistic or achievable and that I needed to study and get a “real job”, and that’s what I did but my dream of being a music artist always remained.  Later on in my life I began to believe that it was realistic and achievable if I just believed and put in the work.  Now I can say that  I am truly following my dream.’

You have such a distinct style, when it comes to fashion and your music, who and where do you draw your inspiration from with these things?

‘I have always  loved listening  to music from a number of different genres.  As a young girl, I danced and sang along passionately with girl bands such as Destiny’s Child and the Spice Girls as I’m sure many girls around my age did. As I grew up and explored music further,  I really  began to connect  with music by artists such as  Erykah  Badu,  Lauryn  Hill, Etta James,  Laura  Mvula and other soulful sounds. I love the sound of their soulful voices and the way they  manipulate words. I also have an appreciation for heartfelt lyrical  content, which  stretches  from soul  to other genres that I love such as reggae. Particularly, I love listening to Bob Marley, Lucky  Dube  and  Beres  Hammond.  In addition, I can’t deny my love for a  hip-hop  baseline and beat.  In terms of my own sound, I just allowed myself to create what felt natural to me along with what I like to hear in production.  I would describe my sound as a fusion of Alternative RnB, Soul and Hip Hop.

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In terms of  my  fashion, I like to make a statement.  I love to have a slightly quirky or stand out piece when creating a look.  When I pick  outfits I think, I want to look and feel good  whilst representing my brand as an artist. Most importantly I want my outfits  to be a translation of my music, of my sound and of the particular songs I am going to perform in it. This puts me in the right mindset for a performance. My fashion is inspired  by my music.  My friends are always on stand by for fashion input, especially my friend  Drea  Milano who styled me for my ‘Released’ EP cover.  Sometimes, I  draw inspiration from a look that I see somewhere, but the best bit  for me  is being able to evolve it and make it my own.’

You’ve worked with  Jovis  (@jovisprod)  Squizzle  (@squizzleital)  Omari  (@produceromari) and more on producing and writing on ‘Released’ – tell us about the studio process and working with them.

‘I first met  Squizzle  through a  good  friend  of mine  and he introduced me to  Jovis  and then eventually  Omari.  They are all super talented.  Working with them  was an amazing and comical experience.  I’m sure that  Squizzle would have lots of funny things to say to about our studio sessions. I am so grateful that I was able to work with them in bringing my music to life,  while having lots of banter and laughs  in between. I felt that they  believed in my sound although it was still in the making. I  had tried working with other producers in the past but it never really worked out, but with them it was like magic, everything just clicked.  Amazingly, I met  the passionate Higher  Levelz  (@hl_music)  through  facebook  and he ended up producing ‘Hometown remix’ for my EP ‘Released’. Believe it or not we haven’t actually been in the studio together as yet, despite having some  great  creative sessions. Be sure to keep an ear out for that in future.’

It was so great to see you with a live band at your EP launch party with such a confident stage presence. Do you feel like this confidence has come naturally to you? What have you done to develop it?

‘I love live music and  being  able to feel the sound of the instruments resonate in me. The live band makes me  become even more lost in the music. Also, I had an amazing audience, and could really feel the love and support.  I  would describe myself as being a  confident  person  in  day-to-day  life but this wasn’t always easy to translate into my stage performance.  My stage presence developed alongside the development of my sound and my branding as a music  artist. Over the years, I have been blessed to be able to develop my performance skills with support from the lovely and gifted vocal coaches  Teish  O’day  and Andrea  Encinas.’

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Over the past year I’ve seen lots of young females pushing  themselves  to grow and thrive as artists in the music scene, what’s your biggest piece of advice to other upcoming artists about making their mark in this industry? 

I  would encourage them to never give up on their dream and to keep working on  artist branding and development  as it  is so important. Just like we get to know and understand the people who we meet in life, we need to know and understand our artist self.   Some key questions they can ask themselves are: What is my artist name? What is my sound? What  is my fashion? Who is my audience? What is the signature thing or things about me that I want my audience to remember?  Once  an artist  begins to  understand and develop who  they  are as an artist,  they  can truly invite others to follow  their journey.

The EP ‘Released’ is available now on Apple Music and Spotify.

 

 

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